Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wuthnow on Polls

I've always enjoyed the work of Robert Wuthnow. His book, The Restructuring of American Religion, has played a formative role in my thinking about The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod in the second third of the twentieth century.

And so when a friend tipped me off to his piece on religious polling, I had to take a look. I found this paragraph to be particularly gripping.

  • "As polling gradually gained popularity, it became increasingly lucrative, prompting significant expansion of a for-profit commercial industry as well as interest at universities.

I think you might find the remainder of the article engaging.  You may find it at at the following link: 


tehazy said...

It makes me wonder about the validity of the surveys, questionnaires "polls" taken in congregations when calling a pastor.

John Flanagan said...

I never liked representative polls of only a small percent of opinions meant to erroneously deduce what people think about an issue. A sampling of low numbers can be misleading, especially if the cross section cannot be scrutinized accurately. We should not accept the conclusions of polls and surveys unless they reflect enough opinions to be deemed accurate.